Volume 32, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
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This study examines how creative solutions to translation problems are negotiated and selected in ‘poettrios’ (teams consisting of a source poet, a target-language poet and a bilingual language mediator working from pre-prepared, literal translation drafts of poems), and compares creativity in this mode to that in solo poetry translating (Jones 2011). The interactions and outputs taken from real-time recordings, work-in-progress drafts and participant interviews from several poettrios translating original poems from English into Dutch and from Dutch into English in two workshops were coded and analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. The results show that creativity in poetry translating is an eminently cognitive activity in which creative solutions typically emerge through the incremental contributions of the complementary expertises of the individual poettrio members, with occasional radical leaps. In this incremental scaffolding process, and similarly to solo translating, poettrios first consider non-creative options, then creative adjustments and, finally, creative transformations. Radical solutions are generally only accepted when a departure from the source-text surface meaning is deemed necessary to achieve the double aim of retaining the source poem’s message while producing an acceptable poem in the target culture (Holmes 1988).


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): creativity; poetry; translation processes; translation strategies
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